Forty Days of Prayer March 8, 2013
In one of the scripture readings for this Sunday I have the passage from 2 Corinthians chapter 12, where Paul talks about how he kept asking God to be healed of an illness but the answer kept coming back no! That passage always reminds me of this prayer by an unknown Confederate soldier. A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER’S PRAYER Author Unknown,
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve; I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health, that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. I asked for riches, that I might be happy; I was given poverty, that I might be wise. I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life; I was given life, that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am among all men most richly blessed.
When Paul asked to be healed of his unknown weakness, the answer he kept on receiving was no. Do you like to hear no to your prayer requests? The answer of no never feels good in life, but sometimes something better is yet to come. The soldier in this prayer asked for strength but was given weakness. He asked for health but was sometimes sick. He asked for riches but was yet poor. He wanted power but instead he was weak. The wonder in all of this is that he found life and enjoyment beyond what he ever imagined. He found himself blessed beyond what he could have ever hoped.
The truth of this poem is that it reminds us that God does not want to shortchange us in any way. He wants to give us what is best. We as people do not always know what is best for our lives. This poem reminds me of the familiar proverb hindsight is 20/20. We see and understand things better in life when looking back. One of the great things of God is that He sees with clarity not only the past, but the future. That is part of why we can pray Thy will be done with confidence.
In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave
Lord Jesus, thank you for this day. Help me to see all things from Your eternal perspective. Teach me that no in prayer does mean You do not care, but that it means You care and know even more than I understand. Thank You. Amen.